June 15, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has equipped a rural hospital with computer facilities and a broadband link to offer patients remote consultation, diagnosis, and treatment through telemedicine, the government information technology agency ICTA said Friday. The project in Kurunegala, in the island’s north-central region, was launched under the Information and Communication Technology Agency™s ‘Nenasala’ program of ICT centres in partnership with the Human Genetics Unit of the Colombo University medical faculty.

“Providing quality healthcare to the vast majority of the poor living in remote rural areas is a significant challenge. One of the many ways in which ICT can facilitate health care is through remote consultation, diagnosis, and treatment through telemedicine,” an ICTA statement said.

The new facility will be particularly useful to people affected with genetic disorders who might be disabled and unable to travel to the Colombo University which has Sri Lanka’s only centre providing clinical genetic services.

Clinical geneticists in the Human Genetics Unit, Colombo can now be contacted online and through video conferencing without the need for patients to come to Colombo for a physical examination.

“This telegenetic project is aime